Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sporting with the 2nd Amendment

In the wake of last weeks "The Dark Knight" shooting in Aurora Co, the old calls for gun-control have resurfaced, and unfortunately some of the same old inappropriate, self-defeating attempts at defending the 2nd Amendment, have been floated as well. I wish each would sink without a trace, but that and fifty cents... well... $3 or $4 bucks... will get me a cup of coffee, sooo... I guess we'd best have a look, starting with the least important danger first - those advocating gun control - and moving towards the greatest danger, those defending the 2nd Amendment with their 'common sense' understanding of it.

The Legislator's view to control
Let's hit a few of the most common instances from the last few days, of people sporting with your Individual Rights, via the 2nd Amendment. For instance, here's Senator Feinstein, a Senator with a great deal of power in our government, telling us her understanding of your Rights, on Fox News Sunday::
"...I think -- you know, we've got to sit down and really come to grips with what is sold to the average citizen in America. I have no problem with people being licensed and buying a firearm. But these are weapons that you are only going to be using to kill people in close combat. That's the purpose of that weapon...."
Notice she said 'sold to' and not bought by - believe it or not, that's a telling and significant perspective, more later. Also noted is that the purpose of the weapon, what it was designed to do - kill - as all 'Arms' are designed to do - is an unbearably appalling concept to the senator, and though it was utterly non-controversial to those who demanded the 2nd Amendment 223 years ago, Sen. Feinstein can see it as nothing other than a very bad thing - not something which can be used lawfully for self defense, or misused for ill, but only as an evil - which is a sure way to smother what is good and inflate what is evil.

When a United States Senator says that
'I have no problem with people being licensed and buying a firearm.'
, she is expressing her view of your rights, and of her own generosity in willingly allowing you the privilege of exercising them.

To a certain extent.

Under certain circumstances.

And I guarantee you, she is not limiting her approval, or her 'right' to withdraw her approval of your 'rights', to firearms alone (see her support for Campaign Finance Laws, Net Neutrality, Broadcast 'fairness', etc).

Just try and see if you can find in her understanding of what your Rights are, any hint that your Rights are meant as the means to defend your personal pursuit of happiness against possible abuse at the hands of those in power; I certainly don't see any sign of it in her discussion of the 2nd Amendment. More importantly, she expressed her conception of how individuals, Americans, YOU, act, how you 'seem' to make choices, and with this, more than anything else, she tells you what her conception of Individual Rights actually are - which should tell you how endangered they are under her care. For instance:
"...but let me say I believe that people use these weapons, because they can get them."
In the leftist worldview, people behave and act, because of, and in reaction (not response) to, things in the environment which determine their behavior. In Leftie land, the material objects and circumstances in your environment: guns, lack of money, violence in movies or on T.V., etc, are those things which are actually responsible for the actions which are then produced in you. Your choices are not made of your own Free Will, your decisions are not informed by virtue or morality or a lack thereof, but simply because environmental conditions deterministically caused them to occur - or as Obama might say "You didn't do that on your own!"

If those words don't 'cause' the realization within you that your right to live your own life is in deep peril, then although you just proved that their theory is invalid (doesn't matter, it's not as if they think it's actually true, it just provides a rationalization for saying what they want you to see as being true), it is no less dangerous to your liberty.

You see, in the eyes of powerful people such as Feinstein, because the government has the ability to cause you to behave 'better' by shaping what is found in, and what is removed from, your environment, then they are more important to your life than you are. Think about just how much room such a view as hers, held on the part of those who have power over your life, leaves for you within your own life.

The answer is: Not much.

Through a mirror darkly
The truth is that this is fundamentally an Anti-American view, and it is the view that is dominant in fashionable circles of the modern era, and it is the philosophical wedge issue that split the intellectual stream which separates our Founders era, from the modernist era we are adrift in. What it boils down to, is this:

  • Our Founders believed that people must be left free to live their own lives.
  • The Left, beginning with Rousseau, believed that people must be forced to be free by those who know better what is best for you.
Our Founders gave political birth to the Liberal idea of Individual Rights, an outlook which now has to be referred to as 'Classical Liberal', that is the view that America was founded upon, the view which our Constitution, and those Rights secured by it, gives form to. The view expressed by Feinstein, is the view that has typified the left since Rousseau first made it popular, and Robespierre put it into logical practice with Democracy ,The Terror and the Guillotine (and which Napoleon happily cleaned up after), and it is not compatible with our constitution, or with liberty. They've even destroyed the word 'Liberal', which means the idea that men can live in liberty - square that with a speech code or laws forbidding you from buying a Big Gulp, and I'll give you a dollar.

We have to qualify the liberal beliefs of our Founders as 'Classical Liberal', because in the early 1900's, after the proRegressive the Wilson administration showed America what 'Progressive' actually meant - alcohol was outlawed, the Income Tax imposed, thousands of Americans were jailed for the crime of disagreeing with Wilson's proRegressive 'new ideas' - and as Americans sought to 'Return to normalcy', leftists did what they always do, they looked for something to hide behind. They didn't change what they believed in of course, only the words they used to mask them (as with referring to 'taxes' as 'investments'), and so they began calling themselves 'Liberals' instead. And they've been dragging that name through the intellectual gutter ever since. But that's another 20 page digression, which I'll spare you from today.

Back to the future with Sen. Feinstein, as she continued to reveal the philosophical monster behind the modernist's mirrors,
" I believe that a revolver and a rifle and shot gun isn't going to do the damage. It's the big clips. It's a hundred rounds. You cannot get him to dislodge the gun because he fires so rapidly and has so many bullets.
Why do you need this? You don't need it for hunting. Most states have limits on the number of bullets you can have for a clip. You don't need it for self defense.
Why do you need it? Why do we make it available?"
She's doing several things here. 1st, again, it isn't you making your decisions, but the presence of the guns that are causing your reactions. 2nd she's converting an open ended philosophic Right, to a particular, closed, activity - hunting - with the intent of then being able to regulate it as any other run of the mill activity, like driving or trash disposal - which is precisely what the Bill of Rights were amended to the Constitution to prevent!

Sigh. Look at the 2nd Amendment...
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
... and then look back at what has been said above. One of these things is not like the other, one of these things just doesn't belong.

If you look closely, what you'll see is what Alinsky saw and described as "Pick the Target, Freeze It, Personalize It and Polarize It.", but it's less a tactic than the only way concepts can be seen and wrestled with, by people who are blind to them. If you have given over thinking in long range principles, for the momentary pragmatic quick fix, you have to treat ideas as if they were flat, dead, things, mere lists having no more value than one persons preference for them. The idea that they might bear some meaning and relevance in reality is quite literally lost upon them.

Alinsky's tactics aren't so much a brilliant method for opposing principles - they are simply a confession of their inability to comprehend them in the first place.

What Feinstein is asking above, is why do you need the Right to exercise your Rights? 'Why is it necessary for you to have this liberty? What can you do with it? What can you do with your life, on your own, that wise legislators (or wise latina's) in Govt couldn't do better for you? Can you justify yourself? Why do you need to exercise your right? '

Even in the face of the most obvious & blatant demonstration of why good people should arm themselves for defending their lives & property, rather than being defenselessly gunned down like fish in a barrel, the leftist denies that having people able to defend themselves would be a good thing. As you can see in this back & forth between Sen. Johnson, & Chris Wallace, Sen. Feinstein simply cannot grasp it. Sen. Johnson makes the point that had there been people in the theater who were armed for self defense, they might have been able to stop the shooter before he ran out of bullets and left, that if:
JOHNSON: ... a responsible individual had been carrying a weapon, maybe -- maybe -- they could have prevented the death and injuries. I mean, that's just the truth.
FEINSTEIN: And maybe you could have had a firefight and killed many more people. These are people in a theater. This is a --
WALLACE: You had a massacre as it with him undefended, Senator.
FEINSTEIN: That's right. That's right, because he had such a big clip.
Think that over: 'we had a massacre because he had a big clip.' Seriously. A Senator.

Don't try and talk yourself out of what she means by that, that is what she means by that; what she didn't mean to do, was to express it so clearly. In her view the deaths were not caused by a person choosing to shoot unarmed individuals where there would be no one armed who could have tried to defend them, but because he had a big clip; and if someone had been armed and able to defend themselves, that would not have been a good thing, that would have meant more guns, more bullets, more bad things in the environment, and that, that, is a bad thing. What that is is sick.

Wallace tries to get her to elaborate on what had just slipped out, and she tries to pivot away to the 'sportsmen' excuse which for so long republicans have been willing to help the left further.
WALLACE: Now, what if someone had a gun and been able to stop him.
FEINSTEIN: I would be very surprised if hunters in your state hunted with a 100-round ammunition feeding devices. In the bill I did, we exempted 375 rifles and shot guns by name so that no weapon used for hunting was affected at all. It just the military style assault weapon.
But thank goodness for the 4th estate, right? The Press? And Fox News, who brought such balance to the force, right? Balance such as that brought to bear with regular 'Conservative' panelist William Kristol, who dove right in with a traditional defense of the 2nd Amendment:
"KRISTOL: I am a squish on gun control. I agree substantive with Kirsten, you can -- the reason those numbers have changed in that poll is originally in 1968 after Bobby Kennedy was assassinated, gun control made controlling handguns. That is unreasonable. I think people have a right to handguns and hunting rifles. I don't think we have a right to semi-automatic machine -- quasi machine guns which can use -- shoot 100 bullets at a time.

And I actually think the Democrats are being foolish as they're being cowardly. I think there is more support for some moderate forms of gun control if they separate it clearly from the desire to take away everyone's handguns or hunting rifles.

WALLACE: All right. Good luck with that, though.

KRISTOL: I'm just giving out free advice to people.

You can put more pressure on moderate Republicans. It's not as if Republicans from New York and Illinois and California couldn't be -- that President Obama couldn't do what President Clinton did in the 90s and put pressure on them.

But it is -- President Obama at least on this one is just unwilling to take a strong stance."
Riiight. But on the bright side, Kristol is just a back-bencher, right? A panelist & editor of an obscure journal, right? Surely more recognized Conservatives, someone like... um... O'Reilly, will do a better job of defending our Rights through the 2nd Amendment... right?

"“O'REILLY: ... But it also makes sense for Congress to pass a new law that requires the sale of all heavy weapons to be reported to the FBI. In this age of terrorism, that law is badly needed. Joining us now from Washington, Congressman Jason Chaffetz who disagrees. Where am I going wrong here, Congressman?
REP. JASON CHAFFETZ, (R) UTAH: Bill, giving the FBI a master list of everybody who owns weapons in this country is not the right direction.
O'REILLY: Now do you think you just categorize what I said accurately everybody who owns weapons. That's not what I said and you know it? I said, heavy weapons, all right. Mortars, howitzer's machine guns. In this age of terrorism, if you do a flight school, the FBI is alerted. But you can buy a machine gun and the FBI doesn't know. And you think that's responsible?
CHAFFETZ: No that -- well, first of all, I don't think that's absolutely not true. If you buy a fully automatic weapon, you have to go get a tax certificate from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in order to do that. You have to pass a fingerprint background check.
O'REILLY: Have you ever been to a gun show, Congressman? Have you ever been in a gun show?
CHAFFETZ: Yes, I have.
O'REILLY: You know, you can buy any weapon you want there and there's no reporting anyway; you can walk right out there.
CHAFFETZ: No. You don't have, you can't go out and just go and buy a bazooka as you suggest or a fully automatic machine gun. There are laws on the books.
(CROSSTALK) O'REILLY: You can buy an AK-47 in this country and no federal agency will know you by it. And as the guy in Colorado proved, you can buy a mass amount of ammunition on the net, ok, and nobody is reported. Look, here is my deal and you tell me where I am wrong. If you sell heavy weaponry -- all right -- semiautomatics, automatics ammunition, all you do is you file with the FBI. And that way the FBI can cross-reference, all right. Say the FBI has you on a terror watch list. And then it comes in that you are buying an AK. Well, the FBI is going to put you under surveillance. Say this guy was bought 60,000 rounds in Colorado, which he did, and the FBI in Denver got wind of that, they would have been watching him. All right? This just makes common sense. It's not intrusion on gun rights.
CHAFFETZ: No you're not -- you're not going to sign -- you're not going to sign an FBI agent to follow each and every law abiding citizen.
O'REILLY: Did you get 60,000 rounds? He certainly will.
CHAFFETZ: You -- you cannot -- you cannot say that the laws on the books are not tough and stringent.
O'REILLY: Sure I can. The kid bought 60,000 rounds and no federal agency knew about it. Are you kidding me?
CHAFFETZ: You -- you -- you are not going to have an FBI agent who is suddenly trailing everybody in this country who buys what is -- whatever your definition is a large number of pieces of ammunition.
O'REILLY: Congressman, let me break this to you, let me break this to you, if the FBI is alerted that somebody is buying 60,000 heavy duty rounds, they are going to check it out. Because that's what antiterrorism is. That's what they do.
CHAFFETZ: Bill -- Bill, that's -- Bill that's why we have the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. We have a specially designated law enforcement officer --
O'REILLY: That kid's purchase on the Internet wasn't reported to any federal agency. That's why he was able to assemble that armor that he had. And you are telling me you -- you object to this? This doesn't intrude on any hunter, anybody with a handgun to protect themselves.
CHAFFETZ: Sure it does.
O'REILLY: Anybody with a rifle. This is an AK, come on.
CHAFFETZ: This is the -- this is the Second Amendment. You have a lawful and reasonable right to be able to go out and purchase weapons.
O'REILLY: The key is "reasonable". I'm not saying you can't purchase. Report the purchase in case it's a terrorist.
CHAFFETZ: But Bill, Bill you are ignoring the current law on the books. You are coming up with this wild definition of what is so-called heavy armament.
The real common sense, is that if you are not actually informed about either the Laws or the Rights they are based upon, you tend to not realize that what you think is sensible is actually stupid to the core. P.S. Even on the facts of the law, O'Reilly was dead wrong.

But that's hardly encouraging news.

We can survive an attack upon our Rights from the likes of Sen. Diane Feinstein, but our Rights, such as those defended by the 2nd Amendment, cannot so easily survive a defense such as this.

Neither Kristol nor O'Reilly's position is substantially different from Feinstein's in any way other than incidental style and preference. It is simply pathetic that these two speak for a considerable portion of 'conservatives'. Far worse than the leftist's attempting to tear down our Right's defenses in the Constitution, these 'conservatives' are supposedly trying to defend them by claiming that 'self defense' and 'what is needed for sporting uses of guns',  and other such 'common sense' arguments that lack any informed sense, are all the defense our Rights really need. Truly pathetic. And frightening.

Sen. Johnson at least, though touch and go for a few moments, didn't fall into the 'sport' defense, and he did point out that gun control, whenever it's been tried, has failed to accomplish what it claimed it would.
JOHNSON: But the result of that ban, it didn't solve many problems. I mean, we've had bans here in Washington, D.C. We've had bans in Chicago.
And you can argue statistics, but I take statistic and I say it has no measurable affect. You could actually argue this made matters worse.
FEINSTEIN: I don't agree.
She doesn't agree. Simple as that. Not because of factual evidence, not because of any other reason than she wants to not agree. Reality isn't helping her views, so reality is the problem, not her views, she simply ignores all claim to reasoning and says 'I don't agree'.

And that's about the extent of a justification that you'll find from such people as Feinstein, Kristol or O'Reilly - 'I don't agree'.

Oh the changes that Time can bring
What you will not find in a discussion with someone who ideologically supports 'Gun Control', is any discussion of the actual issue of what Rights are, or of how to defend them, or that they need to be defended. You will only find a panicked retreat from the concept as a whole - which is why it's called 'Gun Control' and not 'Rights Defense' - they want to control your life, not defend your Rights. Their only escape, and thus their driving tactic, is to transform the idea of Rights into a static thing, a thing which can then be ridiculed and ignored, or dismissed with 'Common Sense' rules, which is what they have to do. In order to make the issue appear legitimate, they have to turn the argument to random data, issues & events, and away from ideas, concepts and principles, because such intellectual ground is anathema to proRegressives of either the left or of the right.

In short, they must simply say: Run away!!!

It is some measure of the fix we find ourselves in today, that where once conservatives were clear enough on where they stood, to be able to say with Charlton Heston:
"I'll give you my gun when you pry it from my colddead hands"
, which, while not much of an argument, it at least made their position clear. Yet today, in order to find such a position in the popular press, we have to turn to an ex-rapper like Ice-T.

Ice-T was once a Rapper on the cutting edge, who Heston, in the 1990's, shamed Time-Warner with, resulting in their cancelling his recording contract, by reading the 'lyrics' of one of his popular rap songs into the minutes of a corporate shareholder's meeting.

Yet today, in order to find someone with Heston's fire and conviction, it is Ice-T himself, who does the best job of stating it:
As some pathetic talking head reacted in surprise that he would defend the right to bear arms, Ice-T answered:
“It’s legal in the United States,” the rapper said. “The right to bear arms is because that’s the last form of defense against tyranny. Not to hunt. It’s to protect yourself from the police.”

“And do you see any link between that and this sort of instance?” Guru-Murthy challenged.

“No. Not really,” Ice-T responded. “If somebody wants to kill people, they don’t need a gun to do it.”

“Makes it easier though, doesn’t it?” the host pushed back.

“Not really. You can strap explosives on your body. They do that all the time.”
Would it be better if he'd stuck with 'tyranny' and left the police out of it? Sure. But these days, we've got to take what we can get. Would Charlton Heston roll over in his grave at this? Maybe. But if he did, I bet you he'd do it with a great, big, smile upon his face.

To be continued....


Jess said...

O'Reilly lives in an area of the country that doesn't quite understand that laws are not the answer. It's ignorance, although his heart is probably in the right place.

What amazes me is the unwillingness to accept that criminals don't give a rodent's fanny about laws. Regulations, permits and safety mean nothing, which means the only restrictions fall upon law abiding citizens, who have the most to lose. Even if possessing a firearm was a capital offense, criminals would still acquire, and use them at will. In their line of work, all mistakes are capital offenses and there isn't a judge and jury to determine mercy.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Well said, Van!

"Alinsky's tactics aren't so much a brilliant method for opposing principles - they are simply a confession of their inability to comprehend them in the first place."

Precisely! Brilliantly put, Van!

And it's not just with guns. If they achieve gun "control" (depriving law abiding citizens of their right to defend themselves) they will next seek knife control.
And virtually anything that has been used as a weapon.

They never stop eroding our rights away. Never.
And we must never stop standing up for our rights and liberties or they will be taken away.

Conservatives, first and foremost, must understand why we need our rights, and what they are: Essential liberties, as Ben Franklin described them.

Essential. 'Cause without 'em, we ain't free and are forced to depend on the State for everything.
And become targets for criminals and sleazy politicians (but I repeat myself).

Many conservatives simply don't fully understand our Constitution and Bill Of Rights.
Or even have a basic foundation for their beliefs and principles.

So when things like this come up they don't stand firmly for their rights let alone know enough to clearly explain what they are and why they are so important.

Of course, this is a result of public "education," and pop culture and the mostly left wing MSM.

Thankfully, the left doesn't have the stranglehold and monopoly on reporting the news like they used to, and can't get away with their leftist lies, ommissions distortions and propaganda.

Breitbart and many others have helped conservatives immensely in this regard and it's good news.

But we still need to make more inroads on education.
We must push hard for school vouchers and school choice, and if Romney wins this may be our last chance to do so.

Because we need more conservatives...classical liberals who are actually educated and know without a doubt what their rights are and why they are crucial to the survival of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We must not frame our responses in the narrative the lefties use.
We must frame our responses in reality and truth.

"Why do you want to deprive law abiding Americans of their right to defend themselves Senator?"

It's idiotic to get into the particulars Feinstein and O'Reilly are afraid of, except to show how little they know.

An AK-47 is not a heavy rifle. It's also not sold to civilians as a fully automatic machine gun.
The ammo is also not heavy duty.

It's already illegal to purchase or sell bazookas, howitzers and machine guns.

When was the last time machine guns were used in a crime? The 20's and 30's?

The murderer at Aurora didn't have 100 bullet clips.
The murderer at VA Texh only had handguns and he murdered more people in another gun free zone with an "assault" weapon or 100 round clips.

After making these idjits look like the fools they are a classical liberal can then go to The narrative: Rights and liberty.

People really do respond well when this is clearly stated. That's of the resons Reagan was so well liked.

Regardless, the point is no one has the authority or the right to take away our right to bear arms. Nobody.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Um, "with an assault weapon or 100 round clips" should read "WITHOUT an assault weapoon or 100 round clips."

Incidently, I find the use os "assault weapon" to be disingenious.

It's used to conjure images of scary machine guns.
Anything that can be used to hurt or kill can be an "assault weapon."

That's something else we should call lefties on.